Known locally as Yaowarat, there are many street food vendors and tiny restaurants in Bangkok’s Chinatown. You’ll find a great mixture of Thai and Chinese favourites, with grilled meats and seafood, noodle soups, dim sum, curries, fried rice, and lots more. The cute tea shops are perfect for taking a break while you digest your food, ready to try even more! Steer clear of restaurants that sell real shark fin soup, though, and do your part for conservation and the environment. Chinatown is often thought of as the birthplace of the street food scene in Bangkok, and it’s easy to see why!
Although the Chatuchak area is often primarily associated with the large weekend market, there are plenty more things to enjoy here on all days of the week. Visit at the weekends and you’ll find a great selection of food within the gigantic market, including full meals, snacks, and desserts. The nearby Or Tor Kor Market has a wide selection of produce and ingredients for cooking your own Thai dishes as well as a food court where you can indulge in ready-made meals like som tam (spicy papaya salad), satay, and khanom krok (a gelatinous snack made with coconut milk and spring onion). It’s possible to find regional specialities here that are rare in other parts of the capital.
Phahurat is Bangkok’s Little India. Known for its textile stores, people who love authentic Indian dishes should definitely visit here too. The area may be small, but it packs in some seriously great curry houses. The prices are cheaper here too for delicious Indian cuisine and you can eat in restaurants that have a real Indian flavour. Watch as experts prepare rotis, naans, chapattis, and other Indian breads, peruse the ready-made dishes and dine buffet style, or order from the menus.
If you’re looking for an up-market meal in fancy surroundings, Thonglor is an ideal place to go. You’ll find restaurants and cafes that serve Thai, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and American dishes, among others. While you won’t find as many street food spots here, you will find a classier vibe and places where you can sit and unwind with a tasty meal and a few glasses of wine.
Food stalls line the street between Silom Road and Saphan Taksin BTS station, with many vendors having been in operation for several generations. Prices are cheap and the food is tasty. Take a stroll and sample whatever tickles your nostrils and tempts your taste buds. From Chinese sausage and grilled duck with a spicy sauce to the ever-popular pad Thai, fruit, and snacks, you’ll find many great dishes here.
Banglamphu is Bangkok’s historic heart, home to headline attractions like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. It’s also where you’ll find the backpacker hub of Khao San Road. For a fabulous foodie experience, move away from the tourist-centred restaurants of Khao San Road and follow your nose through the area’s smaller streets for some authentic Thai street eats from vendors that have had the same stalls in the same spots for many years. Pile your plate high with curry and rice, swap your pad Thai for pad see ew or pad kee mao, and sample the spicy and sour flavours of tom yam gung, a beloved Thai shrimp soup.
Siam, with its many fancy malls, is mainly known as a shopping destination. But, hungry shoppers have to eat! The food courts in the shopping centres are real gems when it comes to finding an assortment of dishes for reasonable prices. Whether you’re hankering after Thai fare, gourmet burgers, sushi, or something else entirely, the food courts have something to please all tastes. Plus, groups can grab what they want and still eat together. Many of the area’s luxury hotels have fancy restaurants for a special evening meal and there are several themed restaurants for dinner in unique surroundings.
Soi Arab (or Arab Street) is the name given to street 3/1 off the stretching Sukhumvit Road. Located close to Nana, one of Bangkok’s major red light districts, the Arab enclave is a real treat for people who love their falafel, biryani, and shawarma. There are open-fronted restaurants where chefs cook on leaping flames and carve kebab meat; grab something to go or head indoors for some cool air conditioning on a hot day.
For a real taste of local Thai food, head to Khlong Toei. Traditionally a working class neighbourhood, and a place that’s a little rough around the edges, the street food sellers dish up Thai favourites for prices that won’t break the bank. Wander around the biggest wet market in Bangkok too and see where many restaurants source their fish and seafood.
Amid the fancy hotels and skyscrapers of Sathorn, there are stylish rooftop restaurants where you can feast your eyes on glorious views while savouring great food, high-class restaurants serving global and local culinary treats, and several places that boast the coveted Michelin stars. Wander the streets, however, and you’ll still come across food carts and cheaper eateries to suit more modest pockets.
Almost all areas of Bangkok are great for foodies! There are swanky restaurants and street stalls along the diverse Sukhumvit Road, plentiful street eats and chain restaurants in Ratchada, high-class restaurants to feed the Thai hi-so (high society) in Chidlom, and a mixture of posh, stylish, cheap, and global in Silom. Enjoy cool breezes and pleasant views in one of the many restaurants in the Riverside area and gorge on street food away from the tourists in Saphan Luang.